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Ttr t4a Edvance

Ttr t4a Edvance

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Published by: National Education Policy Center on Apr 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/09/2013

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http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-xxxxx-xxxxx
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EVIEW OF
 E 
VALUATION OF 
 EACH FOR
 A
 MERICA
 
 I
 EXA
 S 
CHOOLS 
 
 Reviewed By
Edward J. Fuller, Penn State UniversityNathan Dadey, University of Colorado BoulderApril 2013
Summary of Review
 A new study funded by Teach for America (TFA) attempts to identify the effect of TFA teachers and alumni on student test scores. The report, by Edvance Research, matchedschools and students within those schools on both demographic and achievementcharacteristics. It then used the matched student data in a multi-level regression analysisto estimate the effect of being taught by a TFA teacher on mathematics and reading testscores for two groups of students: those in grades 4 and 5 and those in grades 6 through 8.Of the eight comparisons performed, three were statistically significant: mathematics andreading scores of middle-level students taught by TFA alumni and mathematics scores formiddle-level students taught by novice TFA teachers. While the findings were large enoughto be relevant to policymakers, numerous issues with the sample construction, matchingprocedures, and statistical analyses lead us to conclude the outcomes cannot be attributedto TFA teachers. Furthermore, these issues make it likely that the actual size of the TFA teacher effects differ than what is found in the report. Thus, the report should not beaccepted as solid evidence of any TFA teacher or TFA alumni effect.
 
 
http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-evaluation-TFA-texas
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Kevin Welner
 Project Director
William Mathis
 Managing Director
Erik Gunn
 Managing Editor
National Education Policy Center
School of Education, University of ColoradoBoulder, CO 80309-0249Telephone: (802) 383-0058Email: NEPC@colorado.eduhttp://nepc.colorado.edu
Publishing Director: Alex Molnar
This is one of a series of Think Twice think tank reviews made possible in part by funding from the Great LakesCenter for Education Research and Practice. It is also available at http://greatlakescenter.org.
This material is provided free of cost to NEPC's readers, who may make non-commercial use of thematerial as long as NEPC and its author(s) are credited as the source. For inquiries about commercial use, please contact NEPC at nepc@colorado.edu.
 
 
 
http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-evaluation-TFA-texas
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of 
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EVIEW OF
 E 
VALUATION OF 
 EACH FOR
 A
 MERICA
 
 I
 EXA
 S 
CHOOLS 
 Edward J. Fuller, Penn State University Nathan Dadey, University of Colorado Boulder
I. Introduction
There is widespread agreement among both researchers and policymakers that teacherquality is the single most important school-based factor influencing student test scores.There has long been evidence that students in high-needs schools
those schools servinglarge percentages of poor and minority students
have had less access to well-qualifiedand stable groups of teachers
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. Largely in response to this concern, Teach for America(TFA) was created to provide high-quality teachers to high-need schools as a strategy toimprove student achievement and reduce the achievement gap. The underlying assumptionof the TFA strategy is that academically accomplished individuals provided with even ashort period of training will have a larger positive impact on student test scores thanexisting teachers in high-need schools. There has been contentious debate over theeffectiveness of TFA teachers in improving student test scores and other student outcomes, with little high-quality and independent research to inform policymakers about the actualeffects of TFA teachers on student test scores. At the beginning of March, Edvance Research, Inc. and Teach for America released areport titled
 Evaluation of Teach for America in Texas Schools.
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The report purportedly focused on estimating the impact of Teach for America (TFA) teachers on student testscores on the state-mandated Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAKS) in two sets of grade levels:
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grades 4-5 and grades 6-8, which we refer to as the elementary grades andmiddle grades in this review.
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More specifically, the report compares differences betweenaverage student TAKS scores for students taught by novice TFA and non-TFA teachers as well as by TFA alumni
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and experienced non-TFA teachers
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in mathematics and reading.The report adds to the growing literature base on TFA teachers in particular and the effectsof alternatively certified teachers in general.

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